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Acting Up

International Thespian Society students gear up for the State Festival this weekend.

Delaney Young, Staff Writer

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Days, weeks, and months of preparation go into the events for the International Thespian Society State Festival. The theatre room is occupied for hours and hours on end as Troupe 6605 prepares what they hope will be nothing less than a masterpiece.

Avid students of the theatrical arts make up Troupe 6605 of the International Thespian Society, an organization for Theatre students with over two million members worldwide. This week, Troupe 6605 is performing at the Texas Thespians Festival, competing for a chance to advance to the international level in June.

Over 7,000 delegates will attend this year, and students will have the opportunity to attend workshops, compete and watch other artists perform.

Upper School Theatre teacher and troupe director Pam Hurt said, “The students look forward to this event every year. We have thirty-eight high school students preparing to compete.”

These competitors range from actors to singers to techies. Student-led groups have prepared presentations in six categories: group musical, group acting, duet acting, solo musical and scenic design.

Members can choose to participate in any of these categories, but the most popular is group musical. In previous years, Troupe 6605’s performances in the group musical category have had much success. Group musical members have received perfect scores from judges at State, advancing to Nationals. They have also performed on Main Stage at the International Thespian Festival, one of the most prestigious honors in high school theatre.

Senior Avery Rudd is leading the group musical. She is a long-time member of the International Thespian Society and has competed in festivals many times. The group is given five minutes in front of three judges.

Avery and the 14 other group musical participants will be performing “Welcome to the Rock” from the critically-acclaimed Broadway musical Come from Away, after more than 48 hours of practice in just the past two months. She said, “My most memorable thing about preparing this group musical number was when we changed all of the choreography two weeks before competition.”

The group acting presentation is from Romeo and Juliet. The five actors competing in this category have been hard at work since October and will be performing the famous duel between Tybalt and Mercutio from Shakespeare’s work. Co-leader of the group acting performance Matthew Buttry said, “This is my first year leading, and I am cautiously optimistic.”

Freshman Avery Doyle is a new member of ITS. She has performed in several Upper School Theatre productions including the recent play, A Murder Is Announced. This, however, will be her first time to compete in the Texas Thespians Festival. She said, “I am scared, but I am also excited to perform at the festival.”

Troupe 6605’s hours of intense practice and dedication will culminate this week at the International Thespian Society State Festival at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center.

About the Writer
Delaney Young, Photo Editor

Delaney Young is a Senior and second-year member of the LionNationOnline staff, she serves our staff as the Photo Editor. She is involved in Theatre as...

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